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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but be prepared to exercise your brain to keep up!,
I bought this on a whim to read on the bus in the morning, and discovered that I couldn't just leave off when my stop was next -- I had to keep reading once I got home and finished it within two days. This is the first of Jon Courtenay Grimwood's books I've read, so I had no idea what to expect. You're kept guessing until the end, and while there's a definite feeling of nearly having the full picture, he successfully keeps you in the dark until it's time to wrap it up and go home. Gritty and cynical without leaving you feeling like you need to wash your brain out, 9Tail Fox is a refreshing distraction for anyone who loves a good mystery, and one which will leave your head spinning hours after you're done and wishing it hadn't had to end.
(A brief summary, as there's none currently entered)
Bobby Zha was a streetwise San Fransisco cop. Not a stellar one, but he had a few redeeming qualities. Then someone killed him and set him up to look like a crooked cop, indeed, and it seems no-one's following up on the case. And he wants to know why. Why he was killed, why he's still alive but wearing the face of another man, and why the nine-tailed celestial fox keeps appearing to him. In a world set slightly in the future where coincidence is an illusion, the supernatural hovers on the periphery of one's gaze and everyone carries secrets, Bobby has to piece together the shattered mirror of his own life and his last few days as Bobby Zha before his second chance runs out of time.
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful crime thriller, not a fantasy,
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This review is from: 9Tail Fox (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Kindle Edition)
As always, I am first captured by Gromwood's elegant prose. Some of his books have plots that take a little settling in but the quality of his writing makes this a pleasant introduction rather than a grind through to the meat of the book.
The setting of this book in a more or less real contemporary USA is a deviation from his norm. As such, I was a little unsure about buying it. Despite a mythological nine-tailed fox and a sort of reincarnation, the book is firmly positioned as a crime thriller. Somehow Grimwood makes the mystical element sit comfortably in this genre by almost taking it for granted rather than making a big point of it.
As always, his characters are richly and sympathetically drawn. We are never given a heavy-handed complete explanation of any of them. Instead, as in real life, we are left to form our own opinions of them from a patchwork of exposure to their actions and coversations.
Thank you, Mr Grimwood, for another riveting tale.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty gripping fun!,
The first book I ever read by this author, I picked it up on a recomendation and recieved a smack-in-the-face surprise of exceptional quality. The story and characters had me from a very early stage and as previous reviews have stated, you'll want to keep on reading this once you start, find somewhere cosy to sit and try it.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What to do when you are murdered...,
9Tail Fox, put simply, is a supernatural crime drama. Though it deals with an aspect of fantasy/science fiction that has been touched upon before by various other mediums, the story is told very convincingly as you can really believe what is happening to the protagonist Bobby Zha.
The story is set over a period of five weeks, San Franciscan Sergeant Bobby Zha is a wildcard detective recognised for his unconventional yet successful methods, alienated from his wife and daughter and living a life that he doesn't much care about. When he is killed in a bloody attack he wakes up in the body of a coma patient.
The story follows Bobby Zha's efforts to establish what happened, who murdered him and most importantly why his murder has so quickly been forgotten and that all of his former colleagues now believe he was crooked. What unfolds is a story of fact gathering as he slowly pieces together the details of his murder and the events surrounding it, culminating in an energetic ending where all of the pieces of the puzzle finally come together.
As has been mentioned by another reviewer, I could not put the book down and have read it cover to cover in the space of a week. The writing style is very accessible and not to heavy, something that can always be a risk when mixing fantasy with crime. However I have not given 9Tail Fox the coveted five stars as I felt that the ending was rather too rapid to give the story its due.
4 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another stunner from Grimwood,
This review is from: 9Tail Fox (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Hardcover)
Quite simply, Jon Courtenay Grimwood is the slickest writers to emerge in recent years. 9tail Fox serves only to demonstrate his continued growth as an author of gripping, exotic novels that are as accessible as they are deep. Great stuff.
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9Tail Fox by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Paperback - 15 May 2007)
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